Sugar Babies

About Sugar Babies

In 2002, filmmaker Jenny Mackenzie’s four-year-old daughter was the 3rd generation in her family to be diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. Ten years later, Mackenzie exposes the spiraling epidemics of both Type 1 and 2 diabetes in children through five real life stories, including her own. Type 1 diabetes is an ancient autoimmune disease, known for thousands of years.  It cannot be cured, and until the discovery of insulin in 1922, it was fatal. Type 2 diabetes, the “lifestyle disease,” was rarely diagnosed in children until the last quarter of the 20th century.  Now it is seen in younger and younger children as a result of the obesity epidemic, caused by diets high in sugar and by sedentary lifestyles. SUGAR BABIES explains the stakes and reveals the impact on its most vulnerable victims. Mackenzie uncovers the challenges and reveals the solutions that are within our reach, and what we can do to take back the health of our next generation.

Creative Team

Director and Producer, Jenny Mackenzie’s recent film Kick Like A Girl aired on HBO, won numerous awards, and is being used in school and college classrooms across the country. Jenny is committed to making social impact films that change lives and reach far beyond the screening room. Diabetes has been a part of her family for three generations.

Writer, James S. Hirsch is a New York Times best-selling author, and he is a former reporter for the Times and the Wall Street Journal. In addition to Willie Mays: The Life, The Legend, Hirsch wrote Cheating Destiny, Living with Diabetes, America's Biggest Epidemic. He has Type 1 diabetes and lives in the Boston area with his wife, Sheryl, and their children, Amanda and Garrett.

Writer, Elizabeth Diggs is a playwright and Professor of Dramatic Writing at Tisch School of the Arts, New York University. Her plays have been produced off-Broadway in New York and in regional theatres across the country. For television, Liz wrote for the groundbreaking drama, St. Elsewhere. Her many awards include Guggenheim, NEA, and Kennedy Center grants as well as the Los Angeles DramaLogue award for playwriting.

Executive Producer, Geralyn White Dreyfous produced the Academy Award-winning film Born into Brothels, directed by Zana Briski and Ross Kauffman and distributed by HBO and Think Films. In 1994, she established the center for Community Service and Documentary Studies with Dr. Robert Coles at Harvard University.

Editor, Christine Siegel Elder, is an Emmy-nominated editor who has had work shown on multiple broadcast networks. She was an editor for the PBS kids show ZOOM at WGBH in Boston, and edited the award-winning documentary Kick Like a Girl, which premiered on HBO. She lives in Alabama with her husband, three dogs, and one cat.

Co-producer, Ann Marie Kreft, M.Ed. spent 17 years with her dad before he died of complications of type 1 diabetes, then 27 years later her own son was diagnosed at age 7. At that point, she seized every opportunity to increase public awareness of diabetes and foster working relationships among the community, the public health sector, and the academic and clinical sectors in the Boston area and beyond.